30 September 2008

UCL Business is delighted to announce that Cerebricon Ltd, a pre-clinical contract research company that provides models of CNS disease have acquired the exclusive rights to commercialise a new model of Attention Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Several putative animal models of ADHD have been developed but until now, none express all of ADHD’s core features. The new ADHD disease model developed at UCL displays all the core symptoms of the disease in behaviour (hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattentiveness, clumsiness) as well as physiological indicators such as the paradoxical effect of amphetamines like Ritalin and changes in neurochemistry. Our findings in the mouse model have been further validated in large human populations.

Dr Abbie Watts, UCL Business commented “In partnership with Cerebricon we think that our model of ADHD will become the gold standard for assessing the efficacy of new ADHD drugs. We know that ADHD is a complex pathology but we think we have found the best validated and best in class model of the disease.”

Dr Clare Stanford, (Department of Pharmacology) and Professor Stephen Hunt (Molecular Neuroscience) at UCL, made an exciting discovery that NK1R -/- mice expresses all the core features of ADHD. Professor Hugh Gurling, (Molecular Psychiatry) went on to link NK1 with ADHD in humans by analysing SNPs in large databases. The work has recently received funding from the MRC.

Cerebricon Ltd, based in Kuopio, Finland, have considerable expertise in CNS pre-clinical disease modeling and have been providers of superior cost-effective solutions for proof of concept and proof of principle studies since the inception of the company in 2000.

Dr. Juha Yrjanheikki Cerebricon’s Chief Executive Officer said “In conjunction with Cerebricon’s strategy of increasing our portfolio of pre-clinical models by extending from neurology to psychiatry we are very pleased to have the opportunity to in- license what we believe will prove to be the best and most fully validated mouse model of ADHD for our drug development clientele”.

Acting on behalf of Cerebricon, Dr Michael F O’Neill of Eolas Biosciences Ltd said “I am delighted to have found Cerebricon as a partner. They are leaders in the area of CNS research services. They have excellent facilities and enviable expertise to carry out pre-clinical trials”

Studies have shown that ADHD afflicts between 6 and 16%% of children in the UK and is twice as common in boys. This debilitating behavioral condition commonly causes hyperactivity, inattentiveness, impulsivity and symptoms of Dyspraxia.

While there are effective drugs available such as Ritalin there is reluctance about prescribing these drugs to children because of their potential misuse and psychotropic and anorectic actions. In order to find effective alternative drug treatments scientists in the field have been searching for realistic animal model.

About Cerebricon
Cerebricon Ltd. is a collaborative and contract research organisation, specialising in pre-clinical models of Neurological and Psychiatric diseases for drug discovery and pharmacological research. Located in Kuopio, Finland with sales and marketing offices in London, UK and Los Angeles, USA. Cerebricon serves small, medium and large pharmaceutical companies as well as independent researchers and academic institutions around the globe. Cerebricon Ltd. is a completely privately owned company with proprietal staff and laboratories.

Eolas Biosciences Ltd
Eolas Biosciences is a business development consultancy for the bioscience sector. They help companies with the development and implementation of strategic development plans. They do this development work not only on individual projects, but also entire portfolios and at company level. Eolas recently opened an office in Boston, Mass. To extend its services in the US.

Further Information
For further information contact Abbie Watts, Senior Business Manager, UCL Business PLC on 020 7679 9000, (a.watts@uclb.com)